Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Lost Corners of the Internet: Cranky people and spam comments

This "Lost Corner of the Internet" is the perfection encapsulation of the past 15 years of allowing comments on news articles, one of the leading causes of headaches in journalism.

The comments appeared on a article about the start of the snowstorm (Toby) that hit southcentral Pennsylvania yesterday and today.

And, yes, I think this is a "Lost Corner" that should mostly just remain lost.

An easy Google search shows that "Tarycaida Kaomal" did not exist before January of this year, when a Facebook page with that name sprang into existence. In the first quarter of this year, it has spammed a wide variety of newspaper sites and articles.

Great reads to get you through Toby

It's not #FridayReads yet, but I figured that all y'all might need some curated reading suggestions today, especially if you're living in the northeastern United States and are stuck in your house thanks to Toby, the fourth nor'easter of March 2018.

So, here are some articles and essays to help you expand your mind while you sip your hot cocoa and watch the grackles desperately vie for positions at the bird feeder.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book cover: "Hackerbook"
(48 61 63 6b 65 72 62 6f 6f 6b)

  • Title: Hackerbook
  • Subtitle #1: for your ATARI®-Computer
  • Subtitle #2: TIPS + TRICKS
  • Subtitle #3: Very Important Subroutines in Machine Language
  • Author: H.C. Wagner
  • Dinosaur-themed cover design: Franz Berthold
  • Original price: Unknown
  • Publication year: 1983
  • Copyright holder: Winfried Hofacker
  • Publisher: Ing. W. Hofacker GmbH International, Federal Republic of Germany
  • U.S. distributor: ELCOMP Publishing Inc., Pomona, California
  • Edition: First edition, first printing
  • ISBN: 3-88963-172-X
  • Pages: 116
  • Format: Paperback
  • Preface (by H.C. Wagner): "Since more and more users of the ATARI personal computers write programs in machine language, more and more 'workhorse' routines, performing standard tasks, are required. This book contains a variety of programs for the real computer 'Hacker' and the machine language programmer. All the programs have been fully tested and a complete source code is provided. I extend my thanks to Franz Ende for the translation and Karl Wagner for the proofreading."
  • Important Notice (under the preface): "This book is written for the experienced ATARI Personal Computer owner. To run the programs you need a symbolic Editor/Assembler or the ATAS/ATMAS from ELCOMP Publishing. For details please refer to the OS-Manual from ATARI."
  • First two sentences: "When working with numbers one often wants to input and output them via the screen. The following programs show how this can be done with hexadecimal as well as decimal numbers."
  • Last two sentences: "$F6 and $F7 are empty locations. This is a comment and not an instruction."
  • Random sentence from the middle: "So, you just have to put a cassette in your recorder, start the generator, and the dialogue will be started."
  • Sampling of chapter titles: "16-bit arithmetic without sign," "Introduction to CIO," "How to write a sector to disk," "How to make a bootable disk," and "300 Baud serial interface via the Atari joystick ports."
  • Notes: In an article titled "The Atari Book of Books," Kevin Fleming categorizes Hackerbook at "Acceptable" and adds that it is "strictly for the 'dyed in the wool' machine language programmer." ... A PDF of the entire book (which kind of takes the fun out of this blog post) is available at Atarimania. ... The inside back cover of Hackerbook contains an order form for Hofacker books that were available from ELCOMP Publishing. Titles included Complex Sound, Second Book of Ohio, Games for the Atari, Tricks for Vics, Editor/Ass. for CBM, Tic Tac Vic, Gunfight for Atari, Knaus Ogino, Astrology Program, Eprom Burner Kit, Moon Phases and Supermail.

Monday, March 19, 2018

From the Readers: Cool books, stamps, the Phillies, and the Eagles

Time for another batch of comments from Papergreat's much-appreciated readers...

Memories of the Junior Deluxe Editions from Nelson Doubleday: Matt Hinrichs writes: "Thanks for your post, and for linking to my blog entry. I'm still collecting the Junior Deluxe Editions — as a matter of fact, just today I got three new books. One of them contained not a bookmark but a printed leaflet advertising the next month's book (Tom Sawyer). These are fun and I'm always coming across titles which I never knew existed in this format. Today's previously unknown find was a biography on Marco Polo."

Photos of my grandmother and mother in their college dorms: Wendyvee, who authors the nifty Roadside Wonders blog, writes: "Love these. It's funny, if you don't look too closely at the skis (or the items in the room), that picture of your mom could be from any one of several decades. Her hair and clothing don't read necessarily as late 1960s."

Pair of postcards of old motels: Joan, who writes Unschool Rules while juggling a full-time job and grad school, writes: "Surely we must have driven past the spot of the Acorn [on U.S. Routes 11/15 in central Pennsylvania] multiple times over the years ... Is it still standing?"
Chris says: It's definitely no longer a motel. I don't think the buildings remain, either, but don't have 100 percent confirmation.

Stamped envelope as work of art: Wendyvee writes: "Holy Copious Amount of Stamps, Batman. Love the World's Fair the most."

And Jim Fahringer adds: "Thank you for sharing this. I always try to use a variety of old and new stamps on letters and packages — hoping it will create an interest and desire in people to collect stamps. That once very popular hobby of stamp collecting has greatly diminished in recent years. That is such a shame — I learned more from my stamp collection about geography, culture and world affairs than all of my school and college courses covering the same areas. I urge everyone to use a variety of of colorful stamps (both old and new) when sending mail. Perhaps it will encourage the great hobby of stamp collecting. If nothing else, it certainly can create a 'work of art' and make receiving mail much more interesting. Long live stamp collecting!!!"

#FridayReads on current events, economy & the arts: Wendyvee writes: "Sharon's story ["All of a sudden my world would flip": the woman who is permanently lost] is fascinating. I had a professor with a similar lifelong challenge (with some minor differences). I might just try some 'Wonder Woman Spinning Therapy' myself."

(Sort of) new photograph of Ruth Manning-Sanders: "A Fan" writes: "Hi there. Just wanted to say that I'm so happy to have stumbled upon a fellow Ruth Manning-Sanders fan! I read her books when I was little and have recently rediscovered them and am collecting them for my kids. Love your insightful posts."

Mom's Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII junk mail: Matt Hinrichs writes: "There's a sucker born every minute, I suppose — thanks for your excellent blog, Chris! I volunteer for a local organization that processes tons of old books and I'm always coming across fascinating stuff like what you write about."
Chris says: Thank you for the kind words, Matt. Your blog has a lot of great stuff in the archives that people should check out. And your volunteer work sounds super fun!

Bookplate: Hazel S. Rork and her dog: Inky, who authors On Shoes and Ships and Sealing-Wax, writes: "That is one handy way to ensure if you lose your book that it actually gets back to you!"

Tattered, torn and creased photo of pure mystery: Wendyvee writes: "I agree that they are probably both wearing swimwear; but I would guess it's older than the 40s if that is the case (unless she was seriously conservative)."

Klein Chocolate Co. of Elizabethtown analyzes Fannie's butter fat: Anonymous writes: "I live in Elizabethtown and my dad lived when Kleins was open. I love this history. It is soooo cool when it is history I know. I wish I lived back then to see what Elizabethown looked like. I also wish they had not sold to M&M and Mars."

Some Phillies Fever from the Bicentennial summer of 1976: Wendyvee writes: "The girls in my Mom's office gave this to her because she had a huge crush on Mike Schmidt."

Sci-fi book cover: "Adventures on Other Planets": Joan writes: "And here I thought I was the only owner of an old book [Nobody Plays With a Cabbage] in which cabbage makes a random appearance."

And Wendyvee adds: "Yes to that cover. No to cabbage soup. Crappy 1970s Paperbacks with Airbrushed Spacecraft on the Covers is in the running for one of the best titles ever."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

"Most fabulous recipe for preparing spaghetti that has ever been devised"

I would like to share an item from the 1965 edition of Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices, by George Leonard Herter and Berthe E. Herter. In 2008, Paul Collins, writing in The New York Times, called the book "one of the greatest oddball masterpieces in this or any other language."

Well, here's the oddball item that appears on Page 137.

This is the most fabulous recipe for preparing spaghetti that has ever been devised and is one of the few really original recipes of the past 100 years.

Arthur Dupont of Carnieres, Belgium, one of the most original cooks who ever lived, created Spaghetti Dupont.

Roquefort cheese as you know was invented in Roquefort, France by the sorceress Jehanne Muret. She created it by putting blue molded stale bread into sheep's milk and a little of the lining of the sheep's stomach. In this country Roquefort or blue cheese is made in the same way but cow's milk is used in place of the sheep's milk. Using the cow's milk instead of the sheep's milk actually improves the cheese rather than subtracts from it.

European cooks rarely used Roquefort cheese in salad dressings of any kind. They use it mostly simply as an after dinner dessert strange as it may seem. Roquefort cheese used in salad dressings was invented in France by Charles Derrault in 1701.

Here is the original Arthur Dupont recipe:

Take an 8 ounce package of egg noodles and boil in water until done according to the instructions on the package. Drain off the hot water. Fill the pan with cold water and then drain off the cold water. This takes away any loose starch on the noodles. Now place in a heaping tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the pot you cooked the noodles, and add one ounce of crumbled Roquefort cheese to the noodles. You can buy Roquefort or blue cheese in one ounce foil packages at most grocery stores. Add ¼ level teaspoon of black pepper and salt to taste. Put a low heat under the pot. Stir the noodles, butter and Roquefort or blue cheese evenly until the butter is distributed all over the noodles and the cheese is melted and evenly distributed all over the noodles. Serve as the main dish while hot.

What will surprise you is that the noodles will have not Roquefort or blue cheese taste at all but an entirely different taste unlike anything that you have ever tasted. This is really fine cookery art not to be confused with the presentation type of cooking found in most high priced restaurants. In places like Maxim's in Paris which is supposed to be a good restaurant, most of the cooking there is poor and very unoriginal. They try to impress people in such places by using expensive cognac, old wines and champagne in their cooking and by burning expensive liquors over food. This is nothing but cheap "hokus pocus" and shows lack of ability to originate really good food recipes and even to follow good recipes.

This Spaghetti Dupont is preferred by most people to so-called Italian Spaghettis of any kind by several country miles.
Wow. That last sentence...

First, let me say that this recipe actually sounds pretty good (I'm going to try it), and I love the authors' rant against snooty upscale restaurants.

But ... but, this is not spaghetti. The noodles aren't even right. The meal described is basically egg noodles with blue cheese and butter, which should not be confused with a heaping plate of spaghetti noodles covered with marinara sauce and, if you choose, some meatballs and parmesan cheese.

A 2003 piece by John Owen on had this to say about the the Herters' book:
"... whenever I mention Herter in this column somebody fires off a message admitting membership in this unofficial cult. And as one e-mail correspondent pointed out, some of Herter's recipes actually are terrific. The reader cited Spaghetti Dupont; I tried it and liked it a lot, although I'm not sure I completely endorse Herter's claim that, 'This is the most fabulous recipe for preparing spaghetti that has ever been devised and is one of the few really original recipes of the past 100 years.'"

A trio of pieces of family ephemera

Here's a mostly visual post for this Sunday afternoon. It's a random collection of three pieces of family ephemera that were never thrown out and ended up being handed down to me. Funny how that worked out.

Thos. Cook & Son ticket envelope illustration

This is a four-inch-wide portion of an envelope that once held a cruise ticket for my great-grandmother, Greta Miriam Chandler Adams (1894-1988).1 Thos. Cook & Son, still around today, had more than 350 world offices at that time.

On this cruise ticket, Greta is listed as "Mrs. Howard H. Adams." She was in stateroom E322 on the S.S. Queen of Bermuda.2 The ship sailed at 3 p.m. on May 16, 1955, from the Furness Terminal at West 55th Street in New York City.

War Department — Tobacco Ration Card

This belonged to my grandfather, Jack Gordon Ingham (1916-1981, I believe). It was issued in 1945 at an Army redistribution center (or station) in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Mailed thank-you card

This little envelope, just 3¾ inches wide, was mailed in 1934 to my great-grandparents, Howard and Greta. As you can see, they were living in Hammond, Indiana, at the time. The violet 3-cent NRA stamp is for Franklin Roosevelt's National Recovery Act, not the National Rifle Association. The card was sent by Charlotte H. Adams and her husband James, as thanks for a silver pitcher that was given as a gift. I'm not 100 percent sure where James and Charlotte fit into the family tree without delving into the genealogy books, but I'm guessing they were cousins.

1. I should probably give Greta (I called her Mimi as a kid) her own label, for those who want to read through all the posts in which she appears. There's going to be much so more of her down the road, as she was the traveler, diarist, buyer, and keeper of scrapbooks. Or maybe she should have her own spin-off blog!
2. The SS Queen of Bermuda had a fairly short life of service, from 1933 until 1966, when it was scrapped in Scotland. It had a capacity of 773 passengers.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lost Corners of the Internet:
Longer excellent tweets

When Twitter officially expanded tweets from 140 characters to 280 characters late last year, I was bitter and cranky and whiny. (In other words, my usual self.) I had believed that 140 characters represented the perfect social-media communication art form — notwithstanding all the "OMG" and "WTF" tweets that spew forth during sporting events, awards shows and social-media-based nuclear brinksmanship between world leaders.

I had spent about 17 percent of my life learning to craft the perfect tweet, right down to the period as the 140th character. Because I'm a writer and editor, and sentences get periods at the end, dammit.

Anyway, it turns out that I'm also unnecessarily alarmist. And my insistent nostalgia for the days of 140-character tweets has transformed into appreciation for what can be done within 280 characters.

But, like everything else on the ephemeral Internet, tweets can be fleeting. Unless you print them out on a sheet of paper and tuck them into a book — and I am guilty of doing this — it's possible we'll get to a point where they are lost to future generations.

So this is my attempt to both show appreciation for a handful of new, long-form tweets that I have come across and to give them a tiny boost toward being saved for history and posterity. For good measure, please print these out and tuck them into your favorite book. Or copy them onto a postcard and mail it to someone.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Today's classifieds for tomorrow's historians and bloggers

The standard approach on this blog is to find things from the past and revisit them here in the present. I wanted to shake things up a little, with gifts from the present for the future.

To that end, I thought it might be cool to list out some of this week's classified advertisements from the newspaper I work for, LNP, in the hopes that someone reading this blog in either printed or digital form in the future might find them interesting. These are from yesterday's (March 14, 2018) edition of LNP.

(Note: The only thing I'm leaving out are the contact phone numbers.)

  • 2017 Fiat 124 Spyder Abarth. Like brand new! Grey. Automatic. Only 1,800 miles!! $23,000.
  • 1993 Buick Roadmaster LTD, 155k mls, 4/19 inps., Priced to fly! $1,895
  • 93 Honda Accord sedan runs/drives well, good local car, needs tires & exhuast [sic] pipe. New battery & rear brakes. $900 OBO
  • 1926 Ford Model T. very good cond., includes orig. manual, maroon, $18k
  • 1924 Model T Touring. excellent condition, complete restoration, runs great. $10,000
  • 1966 Thunder Bird Convertible, very good condition, only serious inquiries. $28,500

  • Labrador Retriever Puppies. Vet Checked and all healthy! M/F Shots & Wormer given. $550.00
  • ACA Ruby Cavalier Pupppies, vet checked, shots, dewormed. Females $1100, Males $1000
  • Cavapoo and Bichpoo Puppies, Vet checked, dewormed, shots UTD, $895 Ready Now
  • Miniature Labradoodles - small, very cute, chocolate, 15 weeks, shots/wormer. $300 OBO
  • Lancaster County Humane League Pet of the Day: Meet Fufu! This pretty girl is a 1 year old spayed female who was brought to the shelter when her previous family no longer had time for her. Fufu is a little unsure about being handled and will need an experienced rabbit owner to continue work on her socialization. She loves being able to hop around outside of her enclosure and explore. Fufu also loves yummy rabbit treats and hay. Does she sound like a good match? Stop in and see her today at the Humane League of Lancaster County.

  • Spiderman hockey table, like new $30
  • Kodak Carousel slide tray, 50¢
  • Roller Hockey Blades nvr usd 9.5 $120
  • Phila Eagles Cuckoo Clock Ex Cond $60
  • 1933 wheat cent low mintage $2
  • 1971 Partridge Family card set $25
  • 2013 Nick Foles jersey card $10
  • Eagles Super Bowl Champs mag $15
  • 6 used Office chairs nice $90
  • BigMouth Billy Bass singing sensation $5
  • 2 pr. Skechers, gd. cond. $30
  • Bon Jovi signed cd-r audio disc, $20
  • Dallas Cowboys suede lthr coat Lg. $25
  • (125) 1964 Beatles cards $100
  • 30+ cookbooks, ex. cond. $15/all
  • (10) Easter bskts., colored eggs, $20
  • 11 Pfaltzgraff tearose cups saucr $6/ea.
  • (4) Nick Foles Eagles rookie cards $8
  • iPad 2 16gb V good no charger $85
  • vinyl big band era record player FREE